Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?

A: Varicose veins are larger, bumpy, and have a thick rope-like appearance, potentially causing significant pain and discomfort. Spider Veins are visible at the surface of the skin but are not raised. Prior to any type of treatment a specialist will review your case and discuss the best treatment options you.

Q: Can spider veins be treated?

A: Yes, the treatment for spider veins is called sclerotherapy. During sclerotherapy a chemical solution is injected into the vein making it harden, dissolve and close. Blood is rerouted into healthy veins to return to the heart.

Q: How painful are sclerotherapy injections?

A: Very tiny needles are used for sclerotherapy and rarely cause pain.

Q: Can all of my spider veins be treated at once?

A: The number of treatments required depends on the severity of your individual case. Multiple treatment sessions may be required to completely eliminate all spider veins.

Q: Is the treatment for spider veins permanent?

A: Yes, sclerotherapy will permanently eliminate the treated veins. Unfortunately, new spider veins may develop in the future, requiring further treatment.

Q: During sclerotherapy will one vein require multiple treatments?

A: Sclerotherapy treatment yields a 60-80% improvement following each session. Some veins may require more than one injection to completely eliminate them.

Q: What are the side effects of sclerotherapy?

A: Sclerotherapy is a very safe procedure and complications are rare. Tenderness and bruising are expected following treatment but should heal quickly. It is important to follow any instructions given by the physician following any treatment to avoid side effects.

Q: A friend had laser treatment for her spider veins. Is sclerotherapy better than laser treatment?

A: Laser treatments can only treat the surface of the skin, while vein damage can occur deep beneath the surface. The underlying vein damage is often the cause of the spider veins. Sclerotherapy can treat the damaged vein, even if it does not lie right at the surface.

Q: What causes varicose veins and why do I have them?

A: Heredity is an important factor in the development of both varicose and spider veins. Varicose veins are caused by malfunctioning valves that help carry blood to the heart. When the vein fails the blood is no longer being pushed upwards, causing the blood to pool in the vein. The vein then becomes enlarged, ropelike and raised.

Q: What is the treatment for eliminating varicose veins?

A: The treatment for removing varicose veins is called Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT). This non-invasive procedure takes less than one hour and requires only local anesthesia. The blood will automatically reroute to healthy veins.

Q: Is Endovenous Laser Therapy covered by insurance?

A: In most cases the EVLT procedure is covered through insurance. Insurance companies may require pre-authorization for the procedure and verify the procedure is medically necessary.

Q: Why is an ultrasound used before treatment?

A: The ultrasound assists in identifying incompetent veins and when reflux is present. Reflux is when the blood leaks through the damaged valve.

Q: What insurances are accepted?

A: We accept most insurance plans. For questions about hospital and physician participation in a specific insurance plan, please call our office to obtain accurate information pertaining to individual insurance coverage or check with the insurance carrier to discuss benefits prior to an appointment.